co-sleeping with son, age 7 - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 06-20-2010, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, I am posting this here, as people IRL that I know mostly would not could not understand that I still co-sleep with my son, or even that I ever did.

Our scenario is that when the kids are with me, we usually pile into my king size bed and read stories or watch a movie. We all fall asleep together, adn then in the middle of the night I have the girls go downstairs where they share a bed. (btw, I have a 4 bedroom house, but people choose to sleep together even though they have their own bed). My son just carries on sleeping with me.

I am beginning to wonder if I am somehow stunting his psychological growth or something by letting him sleep with me, but it is the most secure feeling in the world to know that your babies are safe and sound next to you, and wake up and listen to them breathing.

What are your thought? I am totally open (from this community) to pros and cons, and if you feel it's time he needs to be in his own bed. I think the transition would be difficult, and I also think I would have to not start out with the girls as well. As a single mom, and full time school, I have not had the energy to individually put each of them to bed in their own rooms and have story time, etc... it has been simpler and everyone just as happy to pile in together.

THanks guys! I know you will have some good advice. I am even leery of asking my friend who is a psychologist, as Im sure she will instantly tell me that I am doing him harm psychologically long term. I can handle that if its the truth, but would prefer to hear from a more like-minded community what they feel...

Nicole.
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#2 of 24 Old 06-20-2010, 08:22 PM
 
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Similar situation here; single mom with a co-sleeping 4-yr-old son. Peeps IRL don't get it and one close friend, who actually knows we are still co-sleeping, keeps nagging me to move him to a youth bed.

I would be totally cool with him in his own bed but he needs the reassurance right now due to some personal stuff in our life. I plan to start transitioning him to his own bed within the next year or so but I figure whatever works for his emotional stability is best.
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#3 of 24 Old 06-20-2010, 11:30 PM
 
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I don't think you are stunting his psychological health at all. How old are your girls and why don't you all just stay in the king size bed? Thats the only thing I wondered about. My son has his own bed and he has been starting off in there every night just about since he was around 4 (he is almost 5 1/2 now). Every night he still climbs into bed with me and I wouldn't have it any other way. Usually its pretty late in the night/early in the morning. The exception is if he is sick then he starts off sleeping in my bed. He moves a lot in his sleep, its difficult to sleep with him, we do better this way.

Eta - We co-slept up until he was 4 from the time he was born.
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#4 of 24 Old 06-21-2010, 12:26 AM
 
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I still co-sleep with my 9 yo and my oldest son co-slept until he was 12. I don't think it stunted his growth and he certainly has no problems sleeping in his own bed now. Choose to do what feels right for you and your DC.

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#5 of 24 Old 06-21-2010, 02:19 AM
 
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My 8 year old DS was thrilled to get to return to co-sleeping once dh and I moved to separate bedrooms. Now DS chooses randomly to either sleep in his bed or mine. Going through mom and dad's divorce is rough and he likes having the security of knowing he can still crawl into bed with mom when he needs to. And I like having someone to snuggle with occasionally, even if he does kick me a few times.

I think your son is fine till he wants to sleep in his own bed.

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#6 of 24 Old 06-21-2010, 02:31 AM
 
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As long as you're happy and he's happy, then it's fine. As long as he knows he can start sleeping in his own bed when he wants to then I see no reason why you'd be damaging him in any way.

People are weird. If they think something's creepy about you co-sleeping with your own son then they're the ones with issues imo.

I say you sound like a great mom and to enjoy this while it lasts. The time passes quick and he'll leave ya for his own bed when he's good and ready.

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#7 of 24 Old 06-21-2010, 02:40 AM
 
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IMHO it's only unhealthy when one of you doesn't want to cosleep anymore but you persist.

A good friend of mine was raised by parents who allowed their kids to cosleep as much as they wanted. My friend slept primarily in her parents bed until she was 14, and then semi regularly slept there until she moved out. When she comes home sometimes, if life has been hard she still snuggles with them.

She is 26 now and is working on her PhD. Very independent minded, free thinking and amazing.

I think of her when I start having my own doubts about my 6yo DS adamantly cosleeping with us.

Momma to DS 1, age 8 and rainbow baby DS2 4-21-11.
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#8 of 24 Old 06-21-2010, 02:43 AM
 
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hi, not really single i have a boyfriend but we don't live together.

anyway, I still sleep with my children, ds is 6 and dd is 12. she comes home on the weekends. with my oldest ds he slept with me until he was 12 too! he didn't live with me after he was 5 but, on our visits he co slept.
I think it is such a nice way to reconnect. somedays I am so go go, that I am glad we have that time to just be together, to talk, or just fall asleep.
my ds6, can sleep in his own bed and he does some nights.

I don't think it is weird or anything if you do it. maybe you'd be surprized if you said something to your friends? I know alot of my friends who are more mainstream, sleep with their children. but they tell me cause they know I am out there....lol.
I think your doing a great thing.

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#9 of 24 Old 06-21-2010, 08:00 AM
 
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When I was still in my mainstream fog about 5 years ago, 7 years old is when I would have thought it was about the normal time to START co sleeping. So no, I think your fine. Actually, I picture all of you in bed together and think its quite beautiful.
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#10 of 24 Old 06-21-2010, 11:56 AM
 
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i agree with doing whatever feels right for your family. each family is different and my 5 year old dd sleeps with me. on special occassions like when we went to family camp last year, she wants to sleep alone. but other than that she is right here. so i just keep going and do what makes sense for us. i don't think you are emotionally harming your child by continuing to share your bed.

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#11 of 24 Old 06-21-2010, 01:14 PM
 
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Doesn't sound horrible if that's what he's happy with!

DS is 3.5 and people around me started giving me dire warnings when I let him bunk in with me more and more after I moved first to the pull-out couch last summer and then to my own place this winter. Most of the time he'd start in his own bed, then migrate to mine at some point. Lately his sleep has been so goofy that I started letting him fall asleep in my bed and he's been doing really well. Prior to this I had to have some sleep without him because I wasn't getting enough proper sleep to function!! Just this weekend I started having flashes of wondering how long he'd choose to sleep with me. But for now, he's little and still dealing with a divorce and he wakes up so refreshed after sleeping near me that I have to think it's good for him. The extra mama-time is healthy for him. We have such busy lives otherwise, that it's a decision I feel good about.

I bet your son will tell you when he's ready for his own room and/or bed.
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#12 of 24 Old 06-21-2010, 02:21 PM
 
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Agree with others, I don't think this is a big deal. My DS7 sometimes sleeps with me. Sometimes sleeps in his room with DD10 in the bottom bunk. He says he doesn't like to sleep alone. No big deal as far as I can see. I guess the only hesitation is if you think there's some kind of custody issue coming up? I suppose something like that could be problematic if there was a custody action just because many judges are so main stream.
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#13 of 24 Old 06-21-2010, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ahhhh, thank you thank you !!

It feels validating. I really get the best sleep when they are in with me. Cycle, my girls are 10 and 14.5, and although they would probably love to sleep all night in there with me too, we are big people (I am 6feet tall, and my oldest is 5'9", so we just don't all FIT comfortably, and none end up getting a good night sleep. The middle daughter revels in an occasional "special night" when her sister has a sleepover and she gets to sleep with me. I have co-slept since each of their births, and it was only about a year and a half ago that I had to put the kabash on the girls due to space. (I and they are comforted in the fact that they co-sleep with eachother downstairs).

As far as custody, we have been apart for 5.5 years, so really no issues there, plus my ex-husband loved to co-sleep too. At his house which is smaller, he has a twin-over-full bunkbed, so the oldest is on the top, and the 10 and 7 year old share the bottom, and so far they like it that way.

Thanks for all your good advice. I have mentioned it to some, and it's amazing how opinionated people can be. I breastfed until they were 3, but sooo many people I know think that if "they can ask for it, they're too old." ( a phrase which sickens me, frankly.)

Interestingly, as a side-note, just gender wise, I don't think I would have even questioned myself if he was a girl... an interesting societal comment.

Best, N
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#14 of 24 Old 06-21-2010, 08:10 PM
 
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My 10yr old ds has just started to start the night in my bed then at about 5am go to his bed. My 9yr old ds stays the whole night once or twice a week as he chooses and my 5yr old starts off in his bed 3 to 6 nights a week and always is in my bed by 2am. The other 1 to 4 nights he is in my bed the whole night.

I will not force any of them to stay in their rooms until they are taller than I am and can kick me out of the bed. Until then I sleep better when at least one of them is in bed cuddling with me!
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#15 of 24 Old 06-21-2010, 10:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by threebearsmama View Post
Ahhhh, thank you thank you !!

It feels validating. I really get the best sleep when they are in with me. Cycle, my girls are 10 and 14.5, and although they would probably love to sleep all night in there with me too, we are big people (I am 6feet tall, and my oldest is 5'9", so we just don't all FIT comfortably, and none end up getting a good night sleep. The middle daughter revels in an occasional "special night" when her sister has a sleepover and she gets to sleep with me. I have co-slept since each of their births, and it was only about a year and a half ago that I had to put the kabash on the girls due to space. (I and they are comforted in the fact that they co-sleep with eachother downstairs).

As far as custody, we have been apart for 5.5 years, so really no issues there, plus my ex-husband loved to co-sleep too. At his house which is smaller, he has a twin-over-full bunkbed, so the oldest is on the top, and the 10 and 7 year old share the bottom, and so far they like it that way.

Thanks for all your good advice. I have mentioned it to some, and it's amazing how opinionated people can be. I breastfed until they were 3, but sooo many people I know think that if "they can ask for it, they're too old." ( a phrase which sickens me, frankly.)

Interestingly, as a side-note, just gender wise, I don't think I would have even questioned myself if he was a girl... an interesting societal comment.

Best, N
ah, that would be a very tight fit even in a king sized bed. As the others have said, as long as you are both comfortable with it and he knows he can sleep in his bed if he wants to then it is wonderful. I look forward to my son crawling into bed with me for our morning snuggle, thats what we call it, even though sometimes its 1 am, or 4 am or 6 am. We live in a small house and it works out best for us for him to start out in his bed, I think he gets better sleep and I know I do for a while, but then we get really nice connection and sleep when he comes in for a snuggle.
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#16 of 24 Old 06-22-2010, 03:39 AM
 
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One kid I babysat for slept in his mom's bed and he was eight. They were totally mainstream, married, not-AP. The only issue was that it was mildly annoying, not that it was psychologically damaging. I have come to the conclusion that WAY more people have kids that sleep in their beds regularly than people who would call themselves co-sleepers, especially once the kids are old enough to crawl out of their cribs/beds.

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#17 of 24 Old 06-22-2010, 08:55 AM
 
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While my kids (minus the baby) don't sleep with me every single night, 75% percent of the nights I have at least one if not a combo of them in my bed, on the floor etc. Last night it was the 8 yr old, 7 yr old and the baby who is always there. Saturday night it was the 14 yr old on the floor, baby and 13 yr old in the bed. We have 4 bedrooms, they each have their own bed but they either climb in there at some point or the older 2 fall asleep in there watching a movie. None of them are worse for the wear

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#18 of 24 Old 01-18-2011, 09:57 PM
 
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Here is a great article about Co-Sleeping.  This is a published article about the benefits of co-sleeping and respiratory issues.  It says that scientifically speaking, we should co-sleep until at least 5 years of age.(it would save lives)

 

Have a look for yourself...very interesting...

 

 

Follow this link -

 

http://www.naturalchild.org/james_mckenna/cosleeping.pdf

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#19 of 24 Old 01-19-2011, 12:09 AM
 
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my dd 8 still cosleeps with her dad. sometimes she goes to her own bed but most of the time she still snuggles and sleeps the night in his bed. 


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#20 of 24 Old 01-19-2011, 01:56 AM
 
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Not single but saw this on the main page.

DS (8) falls asleep in our bed and then we (mostly) move him to his own bed in the bedroom right next to ours when we come to bed.

However, we have a "rule" that "special when Mama or Papa isn't home" DS can sleep with us all night. DH is usually the one who is gone overnight far more than I am, so we have about a night or two a month when we co-sleep. I much prefer him to DH because he doesn't snore or take up as much room!

Anyway, it sounds like it's working well for your family, so I wouldn't worry.
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#21 of 24 Old 01-19-2011, 07:37 AM
 
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My son co-slept with me till he was 9 1/2 and my boyfriend at the time who I was pregnant by (who never was at my house) wanted me to stop.  I knew it wasn't a big deal for my son because he slept in his own bed at his father's. I LIKE co-sleeping!  Personally, I would have drawn the line at 10, anyway, and now that my son is 12 and in puberty, it would seem creepy to me to snuggle with him at night--but that's just me. And I still hug and snuggle with him when he'll let me (he doesn't like it), just not in bed. My older daughter slept in the top bunk from the time she was about 8 and my son was 7, as the bottom bunk (futon) got too crowded.

 

My 27 month old daugther is still night nursing and i am in no hurry to rush her out of bed, but her Dad wants to know when she'll start sleeping alone.  She sleeps in his king-sized bed and he sleeps on a twin mattress beside her on the one night a week he has her overnight.

 

My older kids are both honor students, well-adjusted, happy and healthy.

 

My son, being younger was a little more clingy than his older sister and had a habit of holding my hair as a securithy object. He wasn't quite ready to sleep alone at 9 1/2, but he was okay.  I imagine he would have soon afterward decided to sleep by himself, anyway.  Huge changes take place between age 9 and age 12.

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#22 of 24 Old 01-19-2011, 09:19 AM
 
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btw mama i wanted to add cosleeping is very, very important to dd. her dad was a reluctant cosleeper when she first started going for the night at 3. but she convinced him.

 

for her its like therapy. even today. esp. today as her consciousness develops and she feels a lot more moral responsibility than before. 

 

i am grateful her dad still cosleeps with her because it really cements their bond. for us its more time spent together. even if its just sleeping.

 

when you have an extra sensitive child cosleeping is a godsend. 

 

without nursing and cosleeping i doubt dd would be such a confident, super independent child. touch has been HUGELY important to her since the moment she was born. and i will say i welcome it too. been good for me too. 


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#23 of 24 Old 01-19-2011, 10:57 AM
 
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My 6 1/2 yr old son sleeps the whole night with me though I had been trying to get him to start off in his bed. thanks to SBX doing something very mean ds just can't deal with being in his own room at all. My 10 yr old sleeps in his own room 90% of the time but loves the occassional night with me. he always has to have a long cuddle in his bed before he goes to sleep though.My  11 yr old ds hardly ever sleeps with me but if he's feeling down or ill then he can be found in my bed.

     i really get the idea that my bed is the safe zone. Nothing bad can happen there. \If the Judge ever orders I have to stop co-sleeping my youngest son will need a lot of counciling!

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#24 of 24 Old 01-22-2011, 05:25 PM
 
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My DS, now 15, also slept with me up until he was 6 years old. I finally got him to start going in his own bed with a lamp. Some nights I would fall asleep with him and leave him once he fell asleep and go to my own bed. Did the same with my oldest DD. :) She is 8 and just finally, in the last year, started sleeping "mostly" alone at night.


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